Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Elissa Brent Weissman

Elissa Brent Weissman's new middle grade novel for kids is The Length of a String.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Length of a String and for your character Imani?

A: The inspiration for The Length of a String came from three different places.

Growing up, one of my closest friends had been adopted from Mexico. She and her sister, who was adopted from within the U.S., were raised Jewish, like me. Thinking about their experience—especially what it might be like to look different from everyone else at Hebrew school—gave me the idea for Imani.

The second idea came from an episode of “The Diane Rehm Show” on NPR in which many people were calling in and sharing their stories about being children of Holocaust survivors.

One caller said that her grandparents had saved up money to send their children to America, but they could only afford to send two. When they got to the boat, the smuggler said, “Sorry, price just doubled.” Now they could only afford to send one.

I heard that and immediately began thinking about...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue